Lots of people have been misunderstanding the situation as Studio Ghibli completely shutting down. Right now they’re cutting the feature film production, but the studio is not closing, guys. That’s not what the Catsuka article said, either! Here’s more info:
It was initially reported that it was shutting down completely, but as Kotaku points out, the word “shoukyuushi” that Suzuki used during his TV interview can mean “pause” or “a break” or a “breather” and he did not use the more definite word “kyuushi”, which means to “stop, pause or suspend.”
"We’re thinking about disbanding the production department and making a big change to the larger view of Studio Ghibli," Suzuki added.
"Obviously, Miyazaki’s retiring was quite significant… after that, what should Ghibli do?
"With that, continuing to endlessly create like this is not impossible, but…right about now, we will take a short rest and think about what’s next.”
This idea of the studio focusing on their merchandising and assets has already been mentioned before, including in the recent documentary The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness.
To put in perspective the troubles Ghibli is facing, their newest release, When Marnie Was There, made 379 million yen in the box office, compared to Disney’s Frozen, which made 986.4 million yen in its first weekend in Japan.
Will we see any feature films out of Studio Ghibli for a while? Very unlikely. In the future? Hopefully. Right now we can just try to support the studio by seeing Marnie if and when it’s released outside of Japan and by purchasing their previous films.